California is on fire again, as high December Santa Ana winds meet dry brush, near-zero humidity, and a flame.
This time, one fire, in particular, is getting mighty close to where Hollywood lives, and the path of the flames goes through an icon of culture in the Los Angeles area: The Getty Center, named for the famous oil tycoon.
The Getty Center is a huge mountainside art museum, art restoration epicenter, and study of stunning architecture in the Los Angeles area.
It sits right above Interstate 405, an ever-clogged ribbon of freeway that is near some of the most glamorous neighborhoods in the world, including Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills, and Bel Air. It is also close to UCLA.
The “Skirball fire,” as it’s known, came dangerously close to commuters Wednesday morning:
— Rick Patrick (@70sspacepunk) December 6, 2017
And on the hill above the 405 perches The Getty Center:
Live video of Los Angeles I-405 Fire Air Live Air Attack Update 8:30 AM Dec 6th https://t.co/M5NP2arYFp #LosAngelesfire #GettyFire #gettymuseum #calfire #airtanker #aircraft @AircraftSpots pic.twitter.com/EbpeJYoXHW
— Chris CJ Hays (@Area51TestPilot) December 6, 2017
The fire is out of control and already has damaged the manse and winery owned by Rupert Murdoch and, sadly, probably others:
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) December 6, 2017
California wildfire officials have called out huge tanker planes to put out the fire around The Getty Center:
They’ve got their work cut out for them:
The Getty Center is itself an architectural and artistic tour de force:
It is also surrounded by open spaces and gardens:
The grounds provide the perfect backdrop for modern sculpture:
Inside, priceless treasures are on permanent display, such as old masters and antiques:
It boasts a rotating collection of medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts:
On permanent display are several impressionist works, including one of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings of irises:
Undoubtedly, Getty Center employees planned for such a possibility since fire is an ever-present threat throughout the state, but saving everything might be impossible. The museum was closed Wednesday.
Tens of thousands of people living in the area have been told to flee.
Fire authorities said in a news conference on Wednesday that the “wind event” this time is unprecedented and that gusts could get up to 80 miles an hour.